Have you ever stood in front of a fridge full of food but have no idea what to eat? That was me 7 years ago when I began my weight loss journey! At the time, I was eating super nutritious foods but I had no idea how to create balanced meals to help me lose weight.
Flash forward 7 years, and now as a registered dietitian I’m finding that most of my clients also struggle to consistently create weight loss meals, too! Recently one of my clients who lost 17 pounds told me “Lauren, before I worked with you I had no idea what I needed on my plate to lose weight… How crazy!?”
If you’re trying to lose 10-20 pounds, it’s extremely important to not just focus on how many calories you eat. You must also consider what types of foods (and in what portions) you need to eat every meal to lose weight.
Below is the exact 3 step balanced plate method I teach babes in my Sorority Slim Down Group Coaching Program so they can lose weight and feel confident about how they look. By following this method, my clients learn how to build plates that satisfy them for hours and help boost their metabolism so they can shed excess fat and have amazing bodies!
Step 1: Protein.
When trying to lose weight, it’s so important to eat enough protein every meal. Protein keeps you full for hours to help you avoid grazing and prevent overeating. Not to mention babes who eat higher protein diets also burn more energy breaking down that protein, which is why it’s helpful for weight loss. This is why step 1 focuses on choosing the right protein to get these benefits and help with weight loss.
Good sources: Chicken, turkey, eggs, meat, fish, and soy products like tofu and edamame
Step 2: Non-starchy veggies.
Non-starchy veggies are great for weight loss because they are high in water and a great source of fiber (aka they get you full faster!) And the best part? These veggies are low in calories. 1 cup of non-starchy vegetables is roughly 15-30 calories per serving. That is literally like no calories, LOL! Plus they will keep you full and prevent eating too much food which is a big cause of weight gain. That’s why I recommend eating non-starchy veggies every meal as part of my balanced plate method so you can have a lot of food on your plate for not as many calories.
Good sources: Spinach, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, peppers, onions, and many more!
Step 3: Carbs.
Carbs (aka carbohydrates) have such a bad reputation. You’ve probably read online that carbs make you fat, but that’s just not true. Eating too many carbs can cause weight gain, but only if you eat more calories overall than what you need. I repeat: Carbs don’t cause weight gain, overeating carbs cause weight gain!
That means as long as you follow this balanced plate method and don’t overeat you will not gain weight… in fact you’ll lose weight! So instead of cutting out carbs altogether, it’s important to incorporate small portions of high quality carbs at each meal so you feel satisfied and balance out your plate. Below are some of my favorite sources!
Good sources: Fruit, whole wheat bread, quinoa, white/brown rice, sweet potatoes
My clients are living proof that following my 3 step balanced plate method is an easy and super effective way to lose weight. When you follow this method you’ll not only lose weight, but you’ll be able to create meals that much easier at home! All you have to do is find a protein, veggies and carb to pair together for every meal… then you’re done!
Plus another perk of this approach is that you don’t have to worry about dining out. When out to eat, you can continue to follow this method even when you’re not creating meals from scratch at home! Once again, all you do is find a meal that has all 3 of these foods and then only eat until you are full.
Here’s an example of my favorite balanced, weight loss breakfast combo!
Non-starchy veggie (tomato)
Carb (mini bagels)